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Two Simple Tricks to Better Manage Your Money

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing the products through the links on my page you will still get them for the same price but I may receive a small commission.

A couple of weeks ago I took a serious look at my three year plan spread I have my bullet journal to inspect the goals I wanted to accomplish in the year 2017. After taking a hard inquiry of my goals I realized that most of my goals were financial related in the fact that they involved making large purchases or doing some serious savings. Since my current income is pretty modest I realized I was going to have to do some serious budgeting if I was going to get anywhere with my financial goals. Back in my late teen years I had read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book and even set up a mock budget just to practice what having a budget would look. Since I was playing with a pretend scenario I couldn’t correlate my mock budget with real life. Fast forward ten years I now see why having a budget is so crucial, at least for me anyway.

So getting back to the whole setting up a real life budget thing. I will be the first one to tell you I am still pretty much a novice when it comes organizing my finances but I really want to spend this next year in commitment to establishing a better budget. So I browsed Pinterest and the rest of the internet world for budgeting worksheets the would fit my financial situation and help me track my expenses and such. Come to find out with all of those worksheet out there I had a hard time finding one that really fit my financial needs. Then I happened upon an article from entitled 5 Steps to Managing Your Money Like An Adult. The article had an image of a simple budget worksheet containing fixed and variable expense sections that I knew would be perfect for me.  So I did what I do best. I saved the article with the worksheet to one of my Pinterest boards and copied the sections I wanted use in my bullet journal and made it look pretty.

Okay so I had my budget spread but now I was still kind of at a loss at putting it to use. I had an idea about how much my fixed expenses were but what about my variable expenses like groceries, gas for the car, etc? I needed a way to track where my money was going and how much I was actually spending on my variable expenses to get a better idea of setting a spending allowance for them. Enter in my spending tracker courtesy of bobbies_bujo instagram photo I found on Pinterest. Mine is the photo below.

I am absolutely in love with my spending tracker and I now want to explain to you how it works. I drew a long box and split it up into eight columns. In the first column I write in the date I purchased my items on. In the second column I write in what store I purchased the item(s) from or if its a bill I write in where the bill is being sent to. In the third column I write in the type of item(s) purchased whether it was groceries, shoes, etc. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth columns I write in what method I used to purchased the item such as cash, check, or my debit card. In the seventh column I write in how much the item(s) cost. Lastly in the eighth column I write in my spending balance. At the end of the month I categorize the items I purchased and then add up the item(s) in each category. Now I have an idea of how much money I can alot to my variable expenses section in my budget. At least that’s the idea anyway. If you are looking for a great way to help you keep track of your spending this year why not try a spending tracker.

Are there any other ways you use to track your spending? Leave a comment below.

Happy New Year!!!!

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How I Use My Bullet Journal To Plan For The Future

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link you will still get the product for the same price but I may receive a small commission.

In my first blog post, Why Bullet Journaling Is My New Favorite Thing, I shared with you about how I went from using a pocket-sized composition notebook to running out to Staples to buy an 8×10 Moleskine Graphing notebook to do all of my planning in. One of my favorite aspects about using a bullet journal is that it is completely customizable to fit your needs. I love scrolling through Pinterest and looking at the different spreads people come up with. There is a spread out there for just about everything.

One of the spreads I came across while scrolling through Pinterest that actually got my hooked onto bullet journaling was a photo on Intsagram posted by emschwartzdn. It was a spread to track a three year plan! I immediately saved the pin to my journaling board and since I am pretty good a copying spreads just by looking at picture of the spread I copied the spread of the three year plan into my bullet journal. The three year plan spread has twelve box layout with three rows and four columns. The rows track the years and the columns track the months of the year. Each column is made up of three month sections giving it the twelve block layout design. The picture in this post is the copy of my three year spread. The original design can be found here. Next, I wrote in the dates that I had written in down in my small composition notebook and the goal attached to it. Now I had a visual timeline for tracking my goals and could plan accordingly to reach those goals!

As time has gone by some of the original timelines I had set up for reaching certain goals have changed due to a little thing called Life but the beauty of my three year plan layout is that I can cross things off or erase them (since I used pencil to write my goals in) and move the goal around to better suit the needs of the goal. As you can see in the I have a lot of goals set up through out the next year and a few in the year after that and not much in 2019. I do have dates for goals to reach in those years just not an actual goal to place with them. I guess you could say one of my ultimate goal is to fill my three year spread in the near future. There are other ways to track goals for the future as well. I recently saw a mind mapping spread designed to track goals that don’t really have a specific timeline for completion. i am seriously considering adding a mind mapping spread to my bullet journal in the near future.
Do you have a visual design for a three year plan?  How about a five year plan? Would you like to share about it? Leave a comment below.


The Best

Why Bullet Journaling Is My New Favorite Thing

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the link you will still get the product for the same price but I may receive a small commission.

A few months ago I was going through a really hard time and not feeling my best in areas of my life. I was constantly pondering where I was at in my life and how I wished I could accomplish more.  In the past I have always tried to set goals for myself whether it was personal or financial but found after while I would get discouraged and lose interest in seeing them through. Part of the reason is that I could never come up with good plan for reaching my goals.

Then one day I was sitting in my comfy purple club chair watching an episode of Fringe on Netflix. The episode happened to be about a killer that was using a alphanumeric system to hunt down his victims. Now I know what you’re thinking…”What in the world does this have to do with goal setting or bullet journaling?” Stay with me and I will explain. In that moment I got an idea and suddenly came up with a plan of how I was going to accomplish some of my life goals that I wanted to see happen over the next few weeks and years.

I  immediately reached for a note pad and a pencil that was on the table beside my chair and wrote down my first and last name on the sheet of paper. Then I wrote a corresponding number under each letter of my name. For example L=12; I=9 and so on and so forth. Then I organized these numbers into calendar dates and the idea was that I work my hardest to accomplish my current life goals by these dates. These dates ended up spanning the course of three years so I now initially came up with a three year plan!

At first I kept this plan in a pocket-sized composition notebook and it was working out well. The one day I was scrolling through Pinterest (I am such a Pinterest junkie FYI) and saw a post about bulletin journaling. Curious to know what bullet journaling was about I click on the link and read about how a bullet journal is essentially a planner/to do list/journal all in one. I  watch Ryder Carroll’s YouTube video of his initial premise behind his idea of the bullet journal and then looked at some picture and post about how others are using the bullet journal concept to help them accomplish their goals. I found some amazing spreads through Pinterest and Google and then went out and bought a Moleskin graphing notebook at Staples and got down to business. So how is it going so far? Absolutely amazing!

In my next few posts I plan on sharing some of my most helpful spreads I have been using to help my progress and my hope is that they will inspire you to start your journey to a new life.